Despite appearances, I am still in political exile in Argentina. The on air silence is due to the myriad of tactical items I have on my to do list. Happy to report I have made some progress and I pretty much have done all I can do up to this point. My priorities at the moment are to clean a closet, cupboard or drawer everyday. I need to stay healthy to offset the stress of the move and our two month trip home. That means the gym and eating well. But most importantly I am trying to be present in the last few weeks of the kid’s time at school in Buenos Aires. End of the school year is always a shitstorm with the never-ending schedule of musical shows, promotion ceremonies, academic awards, drama showcases and class parties. The kids are saying goodbye to friends and a school that they have know for most of their lives. Until recently they haven’t really been focused on the departure. Now due to transition counseling that happens at school and the inevitable conversation around the table at dinner of whats next, the kids are definitely processing the change. That means for some not so nice behavior between siblings and general sensitivity to nothing. Its expected.
The kids have attended Lincoln International School in Buenos Aires for the last 7 1/2 years. And while initially it wasn’t our first choice (we thought to put them in local private schools, but a learning disability kept that from making good sense) it is one of the best things about our lives here.
I am already nostalgic for the school mornings when we all load up the minivan and GM and I drive the kids to school. They all get out and enter school at the same gate. Not only is this more convenient than the 4 kids in 4 different school which will be my reality in the States, but its the cozy feeling I get knowing they are all together. They act like they don’t appreciate this togetherness, but I know they feel secure and safe knowing that there is an O’Connell kid to help them out if needed. The school attracts teachers who are inspired and often have big personalities. They are teachers that will make an impression of the kids, teachers that they will remember. Some of the teachers have been around as long as we have and we count them as good friends.
The parent community has also afforded us a never-ending supply of friends from different places and life experiences. There is a down side having to say good-bye to people that more often than not are not in BA for more than two or three years. But we have learned to trust that our good friends will be our good friends wherever they go and that that there are always new and interesting people coming into the community. It has worked out well for us that way. Our life in Buenos Aires has been rich with good friends.
I don’t look forward to the day we walk out of the gates for the last time. The school has been a good place for all of us.